Dating from 1249, Ypres Tower (also known as Rye Castle) is one of Rye’s oldest structures. It was built as part of the town’s defences and has been used as a prison and a private home before housing part of the Rye Castle Museum’s exhibits.
The castle is not to be confused with the Rye Castle Museum on East Street, which is a separate museum in Rye that is operated by the same organisation that runs the castle.
What to see at Ypres Tower (Rye Castle)
Displays at Ypres Tower, which is also known as Rye Castle, are arranged over three floors. These include artefacts dating from medieval times including iron and locally-produced pottery as well as an embroidery depicting local history and artefacts relating to the town’s smuggling and law enforcement history.
The basement of the tower features a collection of swords, armour and chainmail and children are able to dress up in costume.
There is a recreated medieval herb garden outside the castle and sometimes a gardener in medieval costume is able to show you around.
Visiting Ypres Tower (Rye Castle)
Ypres Tower (Rye Castle) is located at the southeastern corner of the town centre. It is around a 10-minute walk from the railway station.
Admission to Ypres Tower costs £4 but entry to the museum’s other site on East Street is free of charge.
The historic nature of the building means that only the ground floor of the tower is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
Although set over three storeys, it is a relatively small museum and most visitors don’t spend longer than an hour or two.